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Twilight Venus


New and Revised Poems by Kitty Jospé


Vivid and evocative best describes Kitty Jospé’s use of language.  Twilight Venus is a complex set of mediations that focus on one’s ability to see the sacred in the natural world. Art, music, dance— become part of the metaphysical landscape found in one’s day to day living. Jospé’s Twilight Venus converts the busyness of the outer world to an intimate conversation— one that transforms love’s experiences to understandings.—

M.J.Iuppa, This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017).

 

Generous, joyful, polyglot and grief-struck, torrent of creative power, Kitty Jospé urges us to look, listen, think and feel. Her lines dart from one sharply focused object to the next in brilliant perceptions inspired by every art—music, painting, photography, dance; by hands engaged in needlework or troweling earth, by all that human hands can make—a garden, quilt or poem. Of course I want /everything and its opposite, she declares. Her mercurial intellect dazzles, yet I love those poems when her attention is sustained and singular.  The effect is a slowing and deepening of rhythm and meaning, as when she bears witness to her aging parents’ love or in this simple ode, a broom  “sweeping as a silencing motion / making room to mirror / time's sweep…turn, return, / reach—draw near / in time with each heartbeat / making room / for the quiet.” In her luminous phrases, we feel a true communion between art and life. Like the Twilight Venus she celebrates in her titular poem, a blown glass figure kept in the window by her writing desk, Jospé is a bringer of light.

Bart White, The Faces We Had As Children.

 

Kitty Jospé’s poetry is imbued with colors, rhythms, and wonderful images that she’s gathered through her love of music, the visual arts, and her personal life journey. Her work always shows an intimate knowledge of poetic styles and a generosity of spirit. I cannot read Kitty’s poetry without hearing her engaging tone and cadence, and visualizing her, almost dancing to her own words.

Sylvie Beaudette, Eastman School of Music.

 

When reading Kitty Jospé’s verse, I think of a bright, hand-dyed scarf wrapped around a wan and wrinkled neck, for the resplendent, elegant surfaces of her poems encircle a life’s bone-stark realities. Literature, visual art, and classical mythology are common trigger points here that lead to decisively-personal ruminations on death and remembrance. In Jospé’s work, compelling images (“mangled shoelaces”) coexist alongside brutal abstractions “Reflections pummeled in shadows”) with little editorial intrusion. As a result, readers become participants in the moments she expertly frames. She knows better that most that those very frames—however well-calibrated and deliberately-crafted—are not enough to contain the curious, scratching voice that inhabits them. “Imagine,” she writes, “you touching each person’s wanting…”. There in the final line of “Twilight Venus” is the intimation of something unbearably sad: unbearably sad yet somehow affirming. After all, isn’t it our exquisite longings that lead us further than we thought we had a right to go?

Tony Leuzzi, author of The Burning Door and Meditation Archipelago.


From the book:

Twilight Venus  


You are Phosphoros – bringer of light—

 emerging from a gold disk

 to circle and thread

light behind you

 and you are Hesperos

star of the evening,

although we know you are not a star,

and more than planet

orbiting within our planet’s orbit

close to our sun.


I want simply to rise like you,

one arm attached to a tendril of dusk

spiraling behind what could be

both dawn, twilight...


Oh, you’ve caught me.  

Of course

  I want

everything and its opposite

and want it all to balance

to have you, goddess of love,

embrace us with sensuous poise,

possibility, innuendo.


Everyone wants to be

wrapped by love.   I imagine you

touching each person’s wanting...


Poet's Statement

Twilight Venus contains both new work and new versions of published poems. Venus is only one of the many Goddesses of love and is as complex as the word twilight.  In Sanskrit twilight is translated as samdhya: literally  "a holding together, a junction" which echoes the concept of twice-occuring "half" light.  I selected poems that point to "junctions" of relationship in shifting time and the binding and eternal power of love.


After my mother's passing in 2016, I found myself recombining ideas in my poems and reviewing the work in my previous books. Many of the published versions morphed into a different form, sometimes as simple as different placement on the page, sometimes bearing a new title or emphasis.  Some of the revised poems have found new homes in publications, some are still pending.  


About the author

Kitty Jospé received an MA in French Literature from New York University (1984) and an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Pacific University, Oregon (2009).  Her passion for teaching, the creative process and enthusiasm for the arts is nourished by her work as a docent at the Memorial Art Gallery (University of Rochester), Rochester, NY.  She finds great joy in inspiring others through poetry. Kitty delivers lectures on poetry and art in both English and French.


Twilight Venus

is an 80 page hand-stitched paperbook with spine - $16.00

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